Improvised Life » creative process http://www.improvisedlife.com If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 08:50:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Maira Kalman on Daydreaming, Eccentricity, and Not Knowing What is Going On http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/maira-kalman-daydreaming-eccentricity-knowing-going/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/maira-kalman-daydreaming-eccentricity-knowing-going/#comments Wed, 30 Jul 2014 08:10:07 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44690

(Vido link HERE.) Portraits in Creativity is a series of short-form videos by renown creative director Gael Towey about the bravery and processes of artists and artisans. Who could better start off the series than the great, wise, observant Maira Kalman?  Kalman’s drawing and writing gets to the essence of not knowing what is going on” and celebrates it. Which is why we love her.

The video is like a walk around New York City with the Kalman. It is rich with illuminating observations (more…)

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/30/maira-kalman-daydreaming-eccentricity-knowing-going/feed/ 1
Exploration: Maria Robledo’s Frame Series http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/24/exploration-maria-robledos-frame-photographs/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/24/exploration-maria-robledos-frame-photographs/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:30:30 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43957

Maria Robledo

In May, we gave photographer Maria Robledo an antique silver picture frame that had no glass or mat; you could see right through it. Hand-wrought, it had a built-in stand of two crossing silver poles. To our surprise, Maria started using it as-is to frame cut flowers from her garden. Over the past weeks, she’s sent us a number of photographs of what has become quite organically her “Frame Series”. Gradually, the images have evolved to get increasingly daring, culminating in this remarkable one of a plastic bag. (more…)

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/24/exploration-maria-robledos-frame-photographs/feed/ 0
Holton Rower’s Money Art (Art Takes Money) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/16/money-energy-creativity-imagination/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/16/money-energy-creativity-imagination/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 08:00:10 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=44144

Holton Rower

One of the many unexpected materials artist Holton Rower uses to make his art is money —physical paper money— rolled, folded and fashioned into all manner of unexpected scuptures. His concrete block filled with tightly-rolled bills resonates strongly with us, LOVING concrete block as we do for both their look and inherent possibilities, (more…)

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/16/money-energy-creativity-imagination/feed/ 0
Grant Snider on Making the Leap http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/02/grant-snider-making-leap/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/02/grant-snider-making-leap/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 08:50:57 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43570

Grant Snyder

Grant Snider nails it again.

 

What leaps are you afraid to make?       (Make a list, real or imaginary, of what they are and why you want to make them.) (more…)

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/07/02/grant-snider-making-leap/feed/ 0
Use the Difficulty (Michael Caine) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/25/use-difficulty-michael-caine/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/25/use-difficulty-michael-caine/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 08:17:53 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43429


(Video link HERE.) I was bogged down today in a creative funk, head-buttingly blocked, wandering in a dark wood, wrestling with a component for a necklace that is carved from clear, rock crystal so that it seemed, well… simply invisible. How do you showcase something invisible?

I recalled something I’d read in an interview long ago with actor Michael Caine: (more…)

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/25/use-difficulty-michael-caine/feed/ 0
Improvising: Twists, Turns and Messy Failures to Arrive at Plan B http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/robert-dolans-twists-turns-messy-failures-arrive-plan-b/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/robert-dolans-twists-turns-messy-failures-arrive-plan-b/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 23:00:49 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43329

Robert Dolan

Artist Robert Dolan intended to make a tee shirt for a young man with leukemia who is now in remission. He made a history of his creative process for a grammar school art class to show the twists, turns, and often messy failures that he went through to arrive at…Plan B. Not a tee shirt, but a poster.

True improvisation! Once again demonstrating that it pays to follow that ball of yarn, wherever it rolls.

—Susan Dworski

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/robert-dolans-twists-turns-messy-failures-arrive-plan-b/feed/ 0
Steinberg, Shrigley and Shonda Rhimes on the Creative Process http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/saul-steinberg-looks-inside-creatives-head/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/saul-steinberg-looks-inside-creatives-head/#comments Thu, 19 Jun 2014 08:46:38 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=43247

Saul Steinberg/The New Yorker

Saul Steinberg drew his imaginings of what goes on in a person’s daydreams, and David Shrigley made a list* of the kinds of things that can come from that: (more…)

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/19/saul-steinberg-looks-inside-creatives-head/feed/ 0
Nathan Frey’s Briliant Modular Workspace http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/12/nathan-freys-briliant-modular-workspace/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/12/nathan-freys-briliant-modular-workspace/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 19:45:13 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42874

Nathan Frey

We recently came across the Frey Desk at Kickstarter, a flexible workspace that quickly transitions from sitting desk to drafting table to standing desk to easel. A vertical mast supports the desk and shelf. The shelf is handy for holding tools, books and speakers. The desk top is a spacious 30″ x 40″, perfect for a computer and large projects.

Frey’s modular workspace is decidedly brilliant and, to us, pretty homely. Nevermind. It’s design could be a jumping off point for forging our own. We LOVE Frey’s design thinking about how a creative person works, and learning about his own process in designing the workspace.   (more…)

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/12/nathan-freys-briliant-modular-workspace/feed/ 0
Phillip Glass: Renowned Composer, Taxi Driver, Plumber (with Music) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/11/phillip-glass-world-renowned-composer-taxi-driver-plumber/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/11/phillip-glass-world-renowned-composer-taxi-driver-plumber/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 23:00:20 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42366

?

Recently, guest contributor Sinnae Choi wrote about the popular, simplistic “Do What You Love” notion that devalues the very real need to make a living. Composer Phillip Glass was one of the examples she originally cited of artists who kept working even when they had gained some notoriety.  His story is so compelling, we extracted it to make into it’s own article:

In 2011, Glass was questioned about his day jobs as taxi driver and plumber. He recalls: (more…)

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/11/phillip-glass-world-renowned-composer-taxi-driver-plumber/feed/ 2
How Poetry Comes to Me (Gary Snyder) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/09/poetry-comes-gary-snyder/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/09/poetry-comes-gary-snyder/#comments Mon, 09 Jun 2014 23:00:01 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42890

Gary Snyder

When inspiration comes: you have to go to meet it…

 

From one of our favorite, endlessly-yielding books: The Gary Snyder Reader: Prose, Poetry, and Translations. Open it anywhere to find a nugget.

 

 

 

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/09/poetry-comes-gary-snyder/feed/ 0
The Creative Impulse Behind A Gardener’s 100′ Dragon Hedge http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/02/creative-impulse-behind-gardeners-100-dragon/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/02/creative-impulse-behind-gardeners-100-dragon/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 08:06:13 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=42372

Damien McFadden

John Brooker, a 75-year-old retired fan-maker in Norfolk, England, has spent 10 years patiently sculpting a hedge into a 100-foot-long dragon, complete with a massive pair of wings, six sets of legs, flaring nostrils and pointed teeth. We love the dragon and especially love Brooker’s reason for doing it, found in this succinct 50-second clip. With little ado, it totally sums up the creative process. (more…)

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/06/02/creative-impulse-behind-gardeners-100-dragon/feed/ 0
Magic for Monday: Lindzee’s Wondrous Illusion http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/12/magic-monday-lindzees-wondrous-illusion/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/12/magic-monday-lindzees-wondrous-illusion/#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 08:59:51 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=41199

(Video link here.) Our friend David Saltman is, among other things, a magician. Over the years, we’ve learned from him that magic requires PRACTICE.  When you see a great illusion, it is the result of hundredes of hours of practice, thought, innovation.

This lovely illusion, found at his blog The Houdini File is an example of practice becoming…MAGIC.

No special effects, just the use of  “8″ shapes. Says the performer is Lindzee Poi: “Nous sommes beaucoup dans le monde à pratiquer cet art. (We are many in the world to practice this art.)

If we practice, we achieve.

 

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/05/12/magic-monday-lindzees-wondrous-illusion/feed/ 1
Can One Decide to Be More Joyful? http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/24/can-one-decide-joyful/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/24/can-one-decide-joyful/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 08:29:32 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=40479

openculture.com

At The DISH, we read part of an interview with the poet Christian Wiman, whose work often grapples with doubt and death. He turned his attention to joy and asked: Can one really just decide to be more joyful, though? 

Then he answered his very compelling question: (more…)

]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/24/can-one-decide-joyful/feed/ 4
Piano Tree and Technical Difficulties: Please Bear With Us http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/22/piano-tree/ http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/22/piano-tree/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:00:49 +0000 http://www.improvisedlife.com/?p=40289

Fast Forward

Despite recent technical difficulties, we're still posting away. Dig this big fat miracle of improvisation (or magic) from our friend Fast Forward.]]>
http://www.improvisedlife.com/2014/04/22/piano-tree/feed/ 0